"Mama Luigi" is the thirteenth and final episode of the Super Mario World animated series. In this episode, Luigi tells Yoshi the story of how he met Yoshi. It mostly takes place at the beginning of the show's story, serving as a prequel, and is Yoshi's origin story, where Luigi takes care of Yoshi, they later find Mario, and they go to King Koopa's Neon Castle to save Princess Toadstool. During the story, Luigi and Yoshi commentate on the events in the story, with the episode occasionally cutting back to the present. This is the last cartoon episode based on the Mario franchise, since no episodes have been produced by DIC or any other company since the cancellation of Captain N: The Game Master on NBC in 1991.
Inside the Dome Castle, Luigi is in the process of putting a somewhat resistant Yoshi to bed. Yoshi, not feeling tired, asks Luigi to tell him a bedtime story — more specifically, the story of how Luigi, Mario, and Princess Toadstool met Yoshi.
Luigi goes on to tell the story: After banishing King Koopa from the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool decided to go on a vacation in Dinosaur World. While exploring Dinosaur World, they visit Dome City, which is deserted. Looking around, Princess Toadstool is suddenly grabbed by a pair of Koopa football players. Mario gets attacked by a Koopa Wizard, who shoots magic at him. As he runs away, a Magnum Bill flies after him, causing Mario to run away in a different direction. Luigi faces a Fire Sumo, which stomps the ground, causing a fissure that Luigi falls into.
Luigi is sent plummeting into the Lava Pits, where he apparently fell "for hours." Yoshi comments that hours are a long time, and Luigi responds that it felt that long to him. Seeing nothing but lava below him, Luigi begins to panic. He lands on a magic balloon, which temporarily turns him into Balloon Luigi, until he turns back into his regular form. He yells before falling on a Skull Raft. Yoshi comments on how "skulls mean bad medicine," and Luigi responds that the skulls were good medicine for him. The Skull Raft heads towards a nearby waterfall of lava. Out of panic, Luigi jumps off and falls onto a small portion of land with several ? Blocks on it. Luigi hits two nearby ? Blocks. While two blocks spray out coins, the third block releases a red-spotted egg. The egg falls off the Block, and Luigi catches the egg, which then hatches, producing a small green Yoshisaur. Yoshi proceeds to refer to Luigi as "mama," to Luigi's surprise. The scene then cuts to the present, where Yoshi laughs at how Yoshi thought that Luigi was "mama." Luigi, however, did not think it was funny.
Back in the story, wandering the Lava Pits, Yoshi starts crying. Luigi asks Yoshi if he is hungry. Luigi is approached by the evil dinosaur and a blue one, which surprises Luigi and Yoshi. Luigi hands Yoshi over to the Tyrannosauruses, and Yoshi grabs onto Luigi's legs, yelling, "Mama Luigi!" The evil dinosaur attempts to eat Yoshi, and Luigi quickly pulls him away. The Tyrannosauruses then attempt to eat both Luigi and Yoshi, who escape by jumping over a river of lava, using a Blargg as a stepping stone. They both enter a Warp Pipe.
Luigi and Yoshi are dumped into the ocean, where they sink as Yoshi yells. They swim through a nearby tunnel, only to be chased by a recently awakened Rip Van Fish. Fleeing from the Rip Van Fish, Luigi and Yoshi narrowly avoid a swarm of Urchins. Exiting the underwater tunnel, Luigi and Yoshi lose the Rip Van Fish, who had fallen back asleep. While trying to swim to the surface of the water, they are attacked by a Blurp, which Luigi defeats with a stomp. A Torpedo Ted is fired at Luigi and Yoshi. Trying to escape the Torpedo Ted, Luigi and Yoshi swim onto a Dolphin in a group, who jump over the Torpedo Ted, bringing them to shore. Once on a beach, Luigi wrings the water from his hat; as he is doing this, though, Yoshi waddles away. Noticing Yoshi has wandered away, Luigi begins to search for him.
As Yoshi is admiring some flowers, a caterpillar walks towards him. Luigi jumps on the caterpillar and picks up Yoshi. The caterpillar growls at them and walks towards them, and it is joined by multiple others. Luigi loudly calls out for help from Mario. The scene cuts back to the present, where Yoshi comments on how he loves caterpillars. Luigi asks, "Hey, who's telling this story?" as the scene cuts back to the past. Yoshi eats all the caterpillars, defeating them.
Mario runs in, having heard his brother's cries for help. He is quickly eaten by Yoshi. Panicking, Luigi convinces Yoshi that Mario is not an enemy, and Yoshi spits him out. Luigi and Mario clean off the saliva on Mario. After Luigi tells Mario not to mess with Yoshi, Yoshi proceeds to leap into Luigi's arms and lick his face, calling him "mama" again, much to Mario's amusement. After he is finished laughing, Mario tells Luigi that he had escaped King Koopa's "Coney Island Disco Palace" but was unable to aid the princess in escaping as well. Reaching the castle, Mario leads the others in through a nearby Warp Pipe, which takes them to the dark basement of Neon Castle. Mario asks Luigi to hit a ? Block to turn on the lights. Luigi gives Yoshi to Mario and jumps at the ? Block, but he misses. Luigi asks for a boost, so Mario puts Yoshi on the ground and lifts Luigi up as Luigi jumps off Mario, giving him enough height to hit the ? Block, which activates a spotlight over them as Luigi falls on top of Mario. Yoshi wanders off as Mario and Luigi work on turning on the light.
Tracking Yoshi down, Mario and Luigi find him near a fireball-belching Bowser Statue. As Mario and Luigi attempt to dodge the fireballs, Yoshi eats them and manages to shut down the statue by spitting fire on it. After he destroys the statue, a secret passageway opens, which Yoshi ventures down as Mario and Luigi follow him. Yoshi nonchalantly walks down a hallway, unaware of the large Skewers shooting out of the ceiling. Pushing Yoshi out of the way of a spike, Luigi gets flattened. As Yoshi runs off, Mario grabs the paper-thin Luigi and manages to return him to normal using a nearby magic balloon. They then continue chasing Yoshi, who leaps through the gate of a fence and opens a nearby door, meeting a Koopa football player.
Quickly climbing over the fence, Mario bashes the football player on the head, only for it to split into three. Tackling Mario and knocking him into Luigi, making them roll into a ball, the Koopa football players are all eaten at once and subsequently spat out by Yoshi, who enters Bowser's throne room. Following Yoshi, who eats a piece of tapestry on the wall, into King Koopa's personal chambers, Mario and Luigi are attacked by a gang of Mechakoopas, who are directed by King Koopa from behind a pillar. While running from the Mechakoopas, Mario and Luigi discover that Yoshi has eaten everything in King Koopa's throne room. Koopa enters and, angered at them for his throne room being ruined, orders the Mechakoopas to attack them. However, they are saved by Yoshi, who eats the Mechakoopas. Seeing how much Yoshi has eaten, Mario warns King Koopa, saying that if he does not hand over Princess Toadstool, Yoshi is going to eat all of Neon Castle "piece by piece."
King Koopa states that he can build another castle, but Mario and Luigi cannot build another princess, and he is unfazed by their threat due to them being unable to gain the key needed to release Princess Toadstool. Just then, Yoshi eats it out of his hand. Without the key, King Koopa vows revenge and flees into a nearby Warp Pipe. Praising Yoshi, Luigi quickly asks him if he can spit out the key, which he does, right into a nearby keyhole. Once the key enters the keyhole, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Toadstool are suddenly transported to Dome City, safe and sound. Princess Toadstool gives Yoshi a big hug.
Having finished his story, Luigi notices Yoshi has fallen asleep. Tucking Yoshi in, Luigi says goodnight to him, with Yoshi mumbling, "Goodnight, Mama Luigi...hehe." Luigi then shrugs.
† indicates that the character has no dialogue.
Animation and continuity errors
Deleted and trimmed scenes
There are several animation cels and sketches for the episode that have been found and sold online that do not go to any scene of the episode and some cut from certain scenes. In the episode when Luigi is walking and asks Baby Yoshi if he is hungry, there is a strange cut off during the scene and it transitions to the dinosaurs walking up to him while Baby Yoshi is still talking. The animation cel has a scene code of "107A-53" on it, meaning that is the 53rd scene in the episode. When the dinosaurs appear on screen, the scene numbers of those are 107A-63 - this is known because of the scene of Luigi holding Baby Yoshi - and turning around is 107A-64, meaning that eight scenes of animation are missing from the episode.
Several lines from this episode, including the "That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" line, have become an Internet meme, even to the point of "Mama Luigi" being a standalone character from the normal Luigi. The line was inspired by an argument writer Phil Harnage had with the show's producer.
When writer Phil Harnage was asked in a fan interview about the episode's popularity, he replied saying he was unaware of it.
Names in other languages